Sunday, May 28, 2017

20 Reasons for Straightening Teeth with Invisalign

Myth Buster #1...Braces are just for kids. 

I)  We can move teeth on children as well as senior citizens

II)  We have options of Invisalign clear aligners as well as clear ceramic brackets and tooth colored wires in additional to the traditional metal brackets.

Myth Buster #2... I am used to my smile, and braces are just to make my teeth look nice. 

 I)  Yes braces will make your teeth look nice and that is a plus.  Here are 20 reasons you should straighten your teeth. Did you know that people with straight teeth and nice smiles are judged by others to be:

      1)  Smarter
      2)  Happier
      3)  More Successful
      4)  More Attractive
      5)  Healthier
      6)  More Popular

II)  People with proper aligned teeth will actually be healthier  and spend less money at the dentist in the long run. They will have less:

     7)  Tooth Wear
     8)  Chipping of front teeth
     9)  Breaking of back teeth
    10)  Gum Disease
    11)  Cavities
    12)  Root Canals
    13)  Missing Teeth
    14)  Gum Recession and Sensitivity
    15)  Food Packing and Bad Breath
    16) Dental Visits and Emergencies
    17) Implants, Crowns, Bridges, Partials, Dentures, Dental Surgery
    18) Lower medical and dental bills
    19) TMJ issues
    20) Medical Issues Related to Poor Digestion

Myth Buster #3... Invisalign is only for simple adult  cases.

1) Invisalign works great on simple cases where only a few aligners are needed and is the preferred method of making minor corrections.

2) Invisalign has evolved quite a bit and works well on complicated cases.

3)  Invisalign Teen with special features works well on teenagers.

Call Today

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Braces and Invisalign at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Dental Implants are a great move forward in dental health. When first introduced in the 1960's they began a long slow journey into the daily art of dental care. Dental implant have evolved over the decades and are continuing to do so. Cosmetic advances and new materials are having a tremendous impact in people's lives.

Dental Implant are not teeth and a healthy implant will never decay of need root canal treatment.

Dental implants are imbeded in the jawbone and emerge through the gums where bacteria can attack. What we are finding is that a form of gum disease like periodontal disease can have a very detrimental effect on the health of an implant. 
proper pre planning of an implant site prior to placement as well as the health and hygiene of the patient are key to success. Dental implants must b meticulously cared for and cleaned along regular dental checkups are essential.

While a patient may be very healthy when an implant is first placed, it is likely that in time a person could develop certain conditions like diabetes and others which may lead to higher incidence of infections and slower healing.

Early diagnosis of implant mucositis (reversable gum inflamation around an implant), or peri-implantitis can lead to a good outcome.  Late detection is much more difficult to manage. Loss of an implant, of involved reparative care can be  frustrating for the patient.

healthy implant                       peri-implantitis

The following is an excerpt from an article published by the American Association of Periodontology.

Understanding of Their Diagnoses and Clinical Implications*
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) periodically publishes reports, statements, and guidelines on a variety of topics relevant to periodontics. These papers are developed by an appointed committee of experts, and the Peri-Implant Mucositis and Peri-Implantitis: A Current
documents are reviewed and approved by the AAP Board of Trustees.

The use of dental implants has revolutionized the treatment of partially and fully edentulous patients today. Implants have become a treatment approach for managing a broad range of clinical dilemmas due to their high level of predictability and their ability to be used for a wide variety of treatment options. While in many cases dental implants have been reported to achieve long-term success, they are not immune from complications associated with improper treatment planning, surgical and prosthetic execution, material failure, and maintenance. Included in the latter are the biologic complications of peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis, inflammatory conditions in the soft and hard tissues at dental implants. It is the purpose of this paper to review the current knowledge concerning peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis to aid clinicians in their diagnoses and prevention. It is recognized that new information will continue to emerge, and as such, this document represents a dynamic endeavor that will evolve and require further expansion and reevaluation.

Peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis differ with respect to treatment. To date, evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis can be successfully treated if detected early and when combined with effective nonsurgical efforts.6,7 Non-surgical therapy has not been shown to be effective for the treatment of peri-implantitis.2,68,72 Currently, different surgical treatment modalities have been proposed and have shown promising results.16,73-77 However, long-term controlled studies are needed to validate which treatment modality may be optimal, given the different clinical scenarios. It has been suggested, as with many inflammatory diseases, that the earlier the diagnosis and intervention, the better the treatment outcome. To that end, routine monitoring of dental implants as a part of a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and maintenance is essential.
To conclude, it is suggested to:
  • Identify risk factors associated with developing peri-implant diseases
  • Establish radiographic baseline at the time of implant placement
  • Establish clinical and radiographic baseline at final prosthesis insertion
  • Employ methods that monitor implant health and determine inflammatory complications as part of an ongoing periodontal maintenance program
  • Establish an early diagnosis and intervention, which will contribute to more effective management of peri-implant diseases
The entire article can be viewed here

Your Comments are welcome

Call for an appointment 815 459 2202

 visit our website at

Phillip C. Neal DDS

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your Child's First Dental Visit

First dental visit is around age of 6 months or when the first tooth appears in the mouth.

Parents often ask me when their child should have their first dental visit. My answer may surprose you.

First a little background.

I)     Dental care is mandated by state laws and the Affordable Care Act

Children are required to make a dental visit in my state before entering certain grades in school. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare if you prefer) mandates that all children have dental insurance coverage.

II)     Many times the first visit for children is an emergency

This is because parents may not think of taking their child to the dentist till the child has fallen and injured a tooth, has a toothache, or they see a spot on a tooth. Pediatricians, who will be seeing the child right after birth, have never been taught about early dental care and the need for it.

III)     The best time for an infant to visit the dentist is around the age of 6 months.     

Why see the dentist so early in life?

We wish meet several objectives with early and regular visits

First, we want to establish a positive and healthy relationship with a child right away. Often irrational fears arise from a painful first emergency dental appointment, horror stories from other family members etc. In addition unpleasant visits to other doctors for vaccinations can color a child's perceptions of "doctor offices" perceptions for a lifetime. One early painful visit to a dentist or doctor often have people afraid for the rest of their lives.

Second, we want to insure that healthy hygiene (cleaning) habits for the child's teeth, gums are established right away with the child and parent. we will teach how to clean a child's teeth with and instill a regular routine right away.

Third, we want to help the parents develop good diet, and other habits for the child before damage is done. These include proper use of pacifiers, and contents of  bottles of fluid given to the child, and managing harmful habits like thumb and finger sucking. 

Fourth, tracking  growth and development of the teeth and jaws  and any abnormal growth patterns are noted as well as any advised interceptive treatment recommendations.

As you can see there s a lot going on in a growing infant that parents may not be aware of. Early preventive and interceptive care helps prevent fears, and more problematic dental issues as well as keeping cost down in the long run.

Get your child to the dentist early in life to develop good diet, hygiene habits, catch problems while they are easily corrected, to prevent fear, and  build rapport with you dentist.

Your questions and comments are welcome

Visit our website at

or call us now to make an appointment at 815 459 2202

Phillip C. Neal DDS

About Me

My photo
Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.